Tag Archives: treasury

Proposed Bill to Assess Chinese Acquisitions of US Financial Services Company and Temporarily Halt Pending Acquisitions

On November 2, 2017, Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ), introduced a bill that would “authorize a review of financial services industry requirements of the People’s Republic of China and the implications of such requirements on national security interests of the United States.” (H.R. 4235, 115th Congress, Nov. 2, 2017).  The bill would require the Secretary of … Continue Reading

OFAC Declines to Issue Waivers for Prohibited Russian Oil Operations

In a single sentence press release published to the OFAC website on 21 April 2017, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin announced that OFAC “will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions”. The announcement reinforces current US sanctions against Russia, which generally prohibit US persons from providing goods, … Continue Reading

OFAC Sanctions Staff of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center

On 24 April 2017, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 271 persons working in the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center to be added to the agency’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons List. In its press release announcing the action, OFAC attributed the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research … Continue Reading

ZTE Corporation Enters Into US$1.19 Billion Settlement

On 7 March, the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and Treasury jointly announced a US$1.19 billion settlement with China-based telecommunications company ZTE Corporation and its subsidiaries and affiliates (together ZTE) for allegedly violating US sanctions and export controls laws. ZTE agreed pay a US$100.9 million civil penalty to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC); a … Continue Reading

More Power to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

The media has reported on various potential plans and ideas being discussed by lawmakers to further expand or improve the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s (CFIUS) scope and authorities. To date, no legislation has been introduced in Congress, and only few details about what has been proposed is publicly known.  Based on … Continue Reading

Trade Talk: Week in Review (13-19 February 2017)

President Donald Trump hosted the Canadian and Israeli Prime Ministers at the White House last week.  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly traveled to Mexico City this week to discuss trade and security matters. Cabinet Shuffle.  Gen. Michael Flynn resigned as the National Security Advisor (NSA) last week, after … Continue Reading

Trade Talk: Week in Review (6-12 February 2017)

On Monday, 13 February, President Donald Trump welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House.  President Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday. The U.S. Senate confirmed Steven Mnuchin to serve as Secretary of the Treasury on Monday evening.  Congress is scheduled to be in recess next … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Responds to Russian Hacking With Enhanced Cyber-Related Sanctions

On 28 December 2016, the US President issued Executive Order (EO) 13757 to amend a 2015 EO authorising the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to impose sanctions for significant malicious cyber-enabled activities. Intended to address alleged Russian tampering in the US elections, EO 13575 expands the scope of the 2015 EO … Continue Reading

Trade Talk: Week in Review (28 November – 4 December 2016)

Iran – Sanctions Measure Advances.  Last week, the Senate passed the Iran Sanctions Extension Act (H.R. 6297) by a vote of 99-0, sending the measure to President Obama’s desk. Members of Congress and Administration officials have said they do not believe renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) would violate terms of the nuclear agreement … Continue Reading

Trade Talk: Week in Review (17-23 October 2016)

With less than two weeks remaining until Election Day, President Obama started this week, on the campaign trail, advocating for Hillary Clinton to be the next U.S. president.  Republican contender Donald Trump is currently trailing in the polls. The U.S. Congress is in recess until after the 8 November elections.  The House of Representatives will … Continue Reading

Trade Talk – Week in Review (10-16 October 2016)

The U.S. Congress is in recess until after the 8 November elections.  The House of Representatives will reconvene on Monday, 14 November, and the Senate the following day. The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) published its long awaited Federal Register notice on 14 October regarding the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) petition process. Petitions for duty … Continue Reading

Trade Talk: Week in Review (6-11 September 2016)

JASTA – Bill Sent to President.  The House voted by voice vote last Friday to advance the Senate-passed JASTA measure to President Obama’s desk for signature into law. Congress acted on a measure that many believe is long-overdue for the victims of the 9/11 attack just ahead of Sunday’s 15th anniversary of the terrorist attack.  … Continue Reading

Trade Talk: Week in Review (29 August – 5 September 2016)

The U.S. Congress returns to Washington on Tuesday after a six-week recess.  On Monday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) issued a statement on the perceived lack of strong U.S. leadership, setting the stage for potentially-increased Republican oversight this fall: Just as we saw our allies in Europe dissing us over the … Continue Reading

Administration Imposes Economic Sanctions Against North Korean Regime

On 6 July 2016, the US Treasury Department’s Offce of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added Kim Jong Un and 10 high-ranking officials of the North Korean government, and five North Korean entities, to the agency’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. The action follows the recent release of the US State Department’s “Report on Serious Human Rights Abuses … Continue Reading

Trade Talk – Week in Review (31 May – 3 June)

North Korea – Money Laundering Designation.   Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated North Korea as a jurisdiction of “primary money-laundering concern” under Section 311 of the USA Patriot Act on Wednesday.  This will allows Washington to further limit North Korea’s access to the U.S. financial system.  Under the new designation, non-U.S. banks … Continue Reading

OFAC Further Eases Cuba Sanctions Before President’s Visit

In the weeks preceding President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba, the US Treasury Department’s OFAC announced new measures to further ease economic sanctions against the country. Like other sanctions relief measures implementing the President’s shift in policy toward Cuba, these recent measures are directed to further support the Cuban people. Among other things, they expand to individual travellers the … Continue Reading

UK to Increase Sanction Enforcement Powers and Launch New Offce of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI)

In a bid to bring the UK in line with the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the UK government has proposed a significant increase in the effectiveness of sanction enforcement powers. Legislation was put before parliament in February in the form of the Policing and Crime Bill. The new legislation would increase the available prison … Continue Reading

Trade Talk – Week in Review (28 March – 1 April 2016)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Defends U.S. Sanctions.  In a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on 30 March, Treasury Secretary Lew defended the United States’ use of sanctions, noting they add “concentrated and meaningful pressure on governments abusing their own populations.”  While acknowledging sanctions are a tool not to be used lightly, Secretary Lew … Continue Reading
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